Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has announced that it will invest $30 million into tech-savvy gaming startups, including AI games, VR/AR, and Web3. A total of $750,000 will be doled out to a maximum of 40 companies, but the early a16z accelerator only accepts about 1% of applicants.

The $30 million will be pumped in over the next 45 days through the company’s early-stage accelerator called “SPEEDRUN,” as reported by Chen in a message X on April 1st, with $750,000 going to each startup that joins the program.

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We’re investing in the intersection of TECH x GAMES, which means artificial intelligence/infrastructure, 3D tools, VR/AR, web3 games, gamified consumer apps, and much more.

Andrew Chen, a general partner at a16z, who oversees the a16z Games One Fund

Tough Competition Awaits Participants

Chen noted that a16z is open to a wide range of startups — from teams just at the idea stage to those with established products and real revenue.

However, competition in the a16z SPEEDRUN program is fierce: only 1% of applicants make it into the final group. Nevertheless, according to Chen, 80% of companies from the first SPEEDRUN cohort secured funding from investors after Demo Day.

Applications must be submitted by May 19th, and the 12-week course will run from July 29th to October 20th, 2024, in Los Angeles, California.

The program consists of a 12-week course, during which participants receive financial support, as well as industry coaches, mentors, and “a community of ambitious founders,” said Chen.

Among the graduates of a16z’s Web3-focused SPEEDRUN program are Matchday, a football-themed game, and Promodium, based on non-fungible tokens — both Web3 games.

Chen oversees the $600 million Game Fund One, launched in 2022, which includes investments in Roblox, Sandbox, and Sky Mavis — the creators of the blockchain game Axie Infinity.

The firm has also invested in blockchain-based gaming startups, backing ventures like Mythical Games, Yield Guild Games, Azra Games, CCP Games, NOD games, and Voldex through its cryptocurrency division.

Game Fund One is founded on the belief that games will play a pivotal role in shaping how we communicate, play, and work in the next century. Over the past decade, games have undergone a radical transformation, evolving from simple pastimes into online services that resemble social networks and scale up.


Moreover, games also drive innovation across the entire consumer ecosystem, creating best-in-class user interaction, retention, and monetization mechanisms, such as microtransactions, battle passes, and Web3 tokens. In the long run, the fund believes that gaming infrastructure and technologies will become key building blocks of the Metaverse, and this opportunity eclipses the current gaming industry with a turnover of $300 billion.

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Andreessen Horowitz’s bold move to inject $30 million into cutting-edge gaming startups signals a significant boost for the tech gaming industry. The promise of substantial funding and access to industry experts entices startups to vie for a chance in the spotlight.

With forecasts predicting explosive growth in the Web3 gaming market, it’s clear that the intersection of technology and gaming is set to redefine entertainment and interaction in the coming years. According to a January report from Fortune Business Insights, the Web3 gaming market will grow from $154 billion to $614 billion by 2030, translating to a cumulative annual growth rate of 21.8%.

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